(The following is a free excerpt from the book “ALL Old Testament Laws Cancelled” by Greg Gibson)
Objection: “But the New Covenant Law Is Written in the Heart, Not the New Testament”
Since the New Covenant law is written in the heart (Heb. 8:10), does that mean that it’s not also written in the New Testament?
Let’s explore what the words “write on the heart” mean by surveying parallel verses. We find the idea of “writing on the heart” at least 6 times in Scripture…
Means “Keep My Commands”
- 1. “My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart” (Pr. 3:1-3).
2. “My son, keep my words and treasure up my commandments with you; keep my commandments and live; keep my teaching as the apple of your eye; bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart” (Pr. 7:1-3).
- 3. “The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron, with a point of diamond it is engraved on the tablet of their heart, and on the horns of their altars, while their children remember their altars and their Asherim” (Jer. 17:1-2).
- 4.-5. “I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people” (Jer. 31:33; cf. Heb. 8:10).
- 6. “You yourselves are our letter of recommendation, written on our hearts (loved by us), to be known and read by all. And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts” (2 Cor. 3:2-3).
In addition to those 6 passages, there are at least 3 similar passages about binding God’s commands on the heart and body. This is significant because in Pr. 3:3 and 7:3 above, “write commands on the tablet of your heart” = “bind them around your neck/ fingers” = “keep My commands.” So, writing on the heart, binding on the body, and obeying are likely synonyms from Hebrew parallelism.
Is a Metaphor for Obeying His Commands
- “My son, keep your father’s commandment, and forsake not your mother’s teaching. Bind them on your heart always; tie them around your neck” (Pr. 6:20-21; cf. 1:9).
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart…You shall bind them as a sign on your handвЂ¦” (Deut. 6:4-8).
“And if you will indeed obey my commandments…You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall teach them to your children…” (Deut. 11:13, 18-19).
Was In Regenerate Saints’ Hearts and the Old Testament
- “And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart” (Deut. 6:6).
“You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soulвЂ¦” (Deut. 11:18).
“I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart” (Ps. 40:8).
“I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you” (Ps. 119:11).
Antinomianism errs by reading the word “only” into Heb. 8:10, like this, “I will put my laws into their minds, and write them (ONLY) on their hearts (not in the New Testament)вЂ¦”
Remember earlier, we saw that Old Covenant saints probably already had all 7 New Covenant blessings from Jer. 31:31-34, including the law written both in their hearts and the Old Testament. So, New Covenant saints can also have the New Covenant law of Christ written both in their hearts and the New Testament.
In Hebrew and Greek, the heart is the center of the mind, emotions, will, desires, etc. So, God writing His New Covenant law in our hearts is a metaphor meaning He will regenerate our hearts to remember, love, and obey His laws.
Plus, since the law in the heart is a metaphor, we need to be careful about trying to reason additional doctrine from it. The hermeneutics of metaphor will not allow us to reason, “Since God’s law is written in the heart, therefore it is not written in the New Testament.”
Metaphors communicate that A is like B in some ways, but not all ways. So, beware of pressing a metaphor’s details since it’s designed to illustrate only some truths. Metaphors, parables, and types are all designed to symbolize major themes, not details.
In conclusion, God writing His laws on our hearts has nothing to do with content or location, that is, the heart instead of the New Testament. “вЂ¦God’s love has been poured into our heartsвЂ¦” (Rom. 5:5) does not mean that His love is not also recorded in Scripture. He wrote His law in the New Testament, and made it precious to our regenerate hearts, guaranteeing our obedience.
(Excerpted from the book: вЂњALL Old Testament Laws CancelledвЂќ
24 Reasons Why All Old Testament Laws Are Cancelled, And All New Testament Laws Are for Our Obedience, by Greg Gibson, pp. 115-117.)